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VEPR .308 Dragonov Conversion Project

VEPR SVD Dragonov Rhineland Arms Aquafortis Tiger Maple

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#1 Spacehog

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 10:01 PM

Started this project in another thread, and decided to give it it's own thread to keep that one from getting too off topic. As opposed to buying a PSL, I decided to go for a Dragonov look with a stock 23" VEPR .308 that I had in the safe. I ordered a set of SVD furniture from Rhineland Arms in tiger maple, and did some modifying on the edges to suit my personal tastes:

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I wanted a wood cheek riser to replace the rubber one that came from RA. I ordered a top choice 18" tiger maple blank from BellForest woods for $10:

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I used an old UTG picatinny rail mount bipod that I modified to mount directly to the hand guard close to the receiver to reduce the potential of POI variances with the bipod down or shooting off hand with it up:

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VEPR with wood fitted and bipod attached:

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Next was to tackle the new cheek riser. I used a table saw and router to form the shape I wanted using the existing cheek riser as a template. Here is the stock with the rubber cheek riser before:

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And with the new cheek riser I fabricated:

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I used Aquafortis (Nitric & HCl acid with dissolved iron in it) to historically finish the tiger maple and make the vertical figure pop. It was the first time I have used it and there is a learning curve...the first being when applying heat to get the iron to blush, a hair dryer takes too long and a propane torch runs the risk of charring the surface. I see a heat gun purchase in my near future. Still it turned out pretty well:

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Run out of room for pics on this post. Next post will cover finishing the Aquafortis with Tru-oil.
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#2 Spacehog

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 10:08 PM

Here is the Aquafortis with the first coat of Tru-oil. This is where the grain of the wood really starts to come out:

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Waiting for it to dry overnight before sanding it back and applying a couple more coats. It should have a nice hand-rubbed look with a tiger eye effect from the chatoyance of the wood grain when done.

I will finish it up with a Tabuk style flash hider and POSP that I currently have on order from Kalinka.

Will post up pics when it is done.
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#3 G O B

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 09:21 AM

That is a real looker!


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#4 scattergun10

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 10:31 AM

Wow,that is gorgeous!   


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#5 Spacehog

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 11:27 AM

Thanks guys. The hardest part of every project is patiently waiting for the finishing coats to dry. Rush them and they will turn out like crap. Unfortunately they can take several days to do right. I broke a cardinal rule of mine last night and mocked up the gun before the furniture was finished. It was dry, but not cured. Still I couldn't wait to see how it would look on the rifle. Here are a couple of crappy cell phone pics in bad lighting:

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#6 ChileRelleno

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Posted 12 October 2014 - 06:19 PM

Gorgeous, I want to do the same with my S.308-ver.21.

 

How high will the cheek rest rise?

I need at least 2.25" above the factory stock with my current setup.

 

Anyone know if the slant cut of the Saiga.308-ver.21 is the same or similar enough to work with Vepr furniture?


Edited by ChileRelleno, 12 October 2014 - 07:34 PM.

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#7 Spacehog

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 05:36 AM

I have been out of town, so I do not have an exact measurement, but I can safely say you can get at least 3" over the factory stock with the cheek riser above. I do not have a Ver 21 Saiga to compare the slant cut with the VEPR, but the RA stocks do not have a slant cut milled into the stock. The stock fits inside the receiver, and is not flush with the receiver. This is a draw back to the overall look and is where the ironwood furniture is superior. However, in your case, it may actually be a benefit if there is some difference in the slant cut angle.

I will get some close up pics and measurements for you when I get back home Wed, and post them up here.

#8 Spacehog

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 10:05 AM

Chile,
The slant cut on the VEPR is 42 degrees from the straight edge at the bottom of the receiver. Let me know if you need any additional measurements. Below are pics of how the RA stock slides into the receiver for reference:

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You can see from the last pic that the angle will not matter as much if it is close because the stock fits inside the receiver as opposed to flush with the slant cut edge.

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The pics above show the cheek riser at full extension and where mine will stay. A 1/4" rise is all I need to achieve perfect cheek weld with the 8x POSP mounted. Extended fully the cheek rest give 2 1/4" rise over the stock.

I still have not gotten this rifle finished. Having issues with the final coat of Tru-oil and keep sanding it back and re-applying. I am OCD and want it perfect, but I am about ready to apply the wax and call it done.

Hope this helped. Let me know if you need anymore measurements.

#9 Spacehog

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 01:35 PM

Finished pics as promised:

Original gun is far left:

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Completed project:

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Done with build projects for a while. Time to do some more reloading and enjoy them.
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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: VEPR, SVD, Dragonov, Rhineland Arms, Aquafortis, Tiger Maple

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